NEWPORT — Hundreds of elder Northeast Kingdom residents are receiving emergency blizzard bags of shelf-stable food and beverages thanks to a joint project from the NEK Council on Aging, Passumpsic Bank, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, and North Country Hospital.
Each “Blizzard Bag” is filled with a one-day supply of emergency food and beverage, and the bags are distributed to NEK Council on Aging home-delivered meal recipients.
The Blizzard Bag partnership with the NEK Council on Aging and Passumpsic Bank started in 2017 when the existing Council’s emergency food bag program was threatened due to budgetary constraints.
This year, food and beverages were delivered to two locations for packing.
Around 300 bags were packed in Derby at the Cornucopia meal site and 300 bags at the St. Johnsbury office of the NEK Council on Aging.
Eleven volunteers helped in the endeavor, and the packed bags were distributed to 14 senior meal sites that partner with the NEKCOA.
The program has grown to include North Country Hospital and meal site partners in the northern NEK.
“We are so grateful for the Blizzard Bag program expanding again this year, to include more bags for seniors in need of food,” said Wendy Franklin, Director of Communications & Foundation at North Country Hospital. “Many hands make small work, and this is all possible through our collaboration with the NEK Council on Aging, Passumpsic Bank, and NVRH.”